FC: School Garden | By: Megan Meywes and Jessica Mues
1: Composting | A mixture of decaying organic matter, as from leaves and manure, used to improve soil structure and provide nutrients.Composting involves mixing organic waste in a bin and providing conditions that encourage decomposition.
2: Pioneer Elementary School, DJUSD Pioneer Gardening Program | Fruit and vegetable scraps are collected for worm food or composting in tumblers and bins. Pioneer has made several cubic yards of compost from school generated waste, clearly demonstrating that students can make an impact on their environment, reap the rewards, and become better stewards of the Earth.
4: This is a one hour commitment once a week. Various curricula, outdoor lab activities, and techniques integrate state content standards for a meaningful and enriching experience for the students. The students are divided up into groups and are assigned different jobs.
6: How to Compost? | Items you will need: You are going to need a plastic drum, a PVC or galvanized steel pipe that will be used as an axle and wooden planks to build a saw buck that will be used to support the compost barrel, a drilling machine, bolts, nails, saw, hinges, washers and basic hand tools like a hammer, measuring tape etc. Step 1: drill two holes one at the top and one at the bottom of the compost barrel through which to insert the pipe that will be used as an axle. Step 2: build a frame that will be used to rotate the compost barrel. The frame can either be x-shaped or vertical. Step 3: Once the frame is in place, use the pipes to balance the barrel on the wooden frameThe barrel should be able to rotate freely once mounted on the frame. Step 4: Use a driller to drill several evenly spaced one inch holes throughout the body of the barrel. This will aid aeration which is vital for the decomposition to take place Step 5:create a door through which waste materials can be introduced into the tumbler. This can be done by cutting a square piece of material from one surface of the barrel and attaching this back to the barrel with the help of hinges. Step 6: color the compost drum with a darker shade Black color is the best as it will absorb heat helping maintain a high temperature in the compost.
8: Layers of Composting
9: 1st layer: 3-4" of chopped brush or other coarse material on top of the soil surface. This material allows air circulation around the base of the heap. 2nd layer: 6-8" of mixed scraps, leaves, grass clippings, etc. Materials should be "sponge damp." 3rd layer: 1" of soil serves as an inoculant by adding microorganisms to the heap. 4th layer (optional): 2-3" of manure to provide the nitrogen needed by microorganisms. Sprinkle lime, wood ash, and/or rock phosphate over the layer of manure to reduce the heap's acidity. Add water if the manure is dry. Add one pound of urea fertilizer or 10 pounds of composted poultry manure per yard of leaves or ground brush if organic sources of nitrogen are not available. Soak these high carbon materials with water before composting. Manure generally should not be used in cities to reduce the potential for fly problems. 5th layer: Repeat steps 1-4 until the bin is full. Scoop out a "basin" at the top to catch rainwater under summer conditions.